‘Tis the season to be jolly’ although that sentiment gets harder as Christmas approaches and we witness what’s going on around us.
Once more we’re plunged into doubt about the risks we face if we spend a few hours in the company of friends, neighbours, or our extended families.
Again, we’re reminded that while some care homes and hospitals will be restricting visits for obvious reasons, there are photos circulating of those who think it’s one rule for them.
Christmas should be a time of goodwill towards others.
That spirit remains in those who’ll be giving up the holiday period to work in hospitals, care homes and the emergency services.
It’s also evident in all those who volunteer at shelters or support foodbanks and other charities, doing their best to look after those for whom Christmas offers only hunger, homelessness and a reminder of how isolated and lonely they’ve become.
The simplicity of the Christmas message is important at these times and reminds us that genuine Christian charity, like that of all other religions, can only be a force for good.
Whatever our religion or none, it’s a time for thoughtfulness and kindness towards others, especially those less fortunate.
A time to put aside differences and look for the good in people.
I want to thank the generosity of Sainsbury’s at Maypole who have donated turkeys to the ‘Big Feed Project’ to provide others with a Christmas dinner and all those members of the public who answered my reverse advent calendar call, to help our foodbanks over the holiday period.
Thank you also to Oakton Estates and Aldi Supermarket for sponsoring my Christmas card competition and allowing us to see a fantastic design by seven-year-old Noah from Dame Ellen Pinsent, who won this year’s competition, and all those businesses who donated prizes despite the terrible year they’ve had.
I’m lucky, I hope to spend Christmas with family and enjoy some of those traditions which I’ve known since childhood but let’s not forget all those for whom it will be a much tougher time.
Keep safe and have a merry Christmas everyone.